Having to learn the ins and outs of a professional football team – and in just over a week, no less – can be a lot for anyone to take in. Newly-signed Bills punter Colton Schmidt, however, is excited about the opportunity.
"I think it's great. It's something I've prepared for, being with San Francisco and now finally getting an opportunity to prove myself worthy of a roster spot," he said.
One photo of every Bills player on the 2014 active roster at the league's deadline.
Schmidt spent the 2014 preseason with the 49ers, recording a net average of 46.1 yards on seven punting opportunities with four punts downed inside the 20-yard-line.
Despite the impressive numbers, Schmidt was cut before Week 1, due mainly to the presence of three-time Pro Bowl punter Andy Lee on the 49ers roster. Fortunately for Schmidt, getting cut was the plan all along. Throughout the preseason, he wasn't afraid to change up his technique and become worse before he improved, he said.
Schmidt also used the opportunity to learn as much as he could from Pro-Bowlers Andy Lee and Phil Dawson. He didn't have much of a chance to pick their brains, but Schmidt was excited to be in the shadow of punters so well-established in their field.
Now Schmidt will have to try succeed fan-favorite Brian Moorman in Buffalo. Schmidt doesn't see it as added pressure. Rather, he hopes to take a page from Moorman's book and "be productive for a decade."
Part of being a punter too, however, has nothing to do with punting. Schmidt is being given the holder's job for kicker Dan Carpenter. He said it's going well and is just like any other part of the game. He said it's all about learning each other's tempos and being efficient as a kicking unit.
"As long as we get on the same page, get it all down, it just becomes muscle memory," Said Schmidt.
While Schmidt adjusts to being a Bill, he finds comfort in the city of Buffalo saying that it's a good sized city without that large city feel, much like his home in Bakersfield, California. Of course, this optimism comes before enduring a Western New York winter. Not only has he never driven in snow, but he hasn't even seen it since he was eight-years old.
But much like his approach to punting for the Bills, he is up for the challenge.